email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Sunday, August 24, 2014


I have become too stupid to do routine things on my computer.  I'm not saying that easily or as a joke.  I have fallen behind the learning curve, and I can't see a way to catch up trying to figure it out on my own..

Yesterday, I wanted to download a youtube video.  I hadn't tried to do it before, but I expected it wouldn't be very difficult.

I couldn't do it.  I don't mean I looked at the process and thought it might be hard and decided not to.  I spent 5 FUCKING HOURS trying to do it and I couldn't!  I did research, I found instructions.   I spent an hour finding the places I should go to to download a video.  I finally found I should "just" open my "activity monitor" (I have a Mac).   Then go to "resources or whatever you need"
 and adjust the code.

Good lord, I learned to program in Basic, Fortran, and Cobol, and I've been using computers since 1980.  And I haven't the slightest idea what "they" are talking about.  I feel like I'm a forager from a 3rd world country be exposed to a DVD recorder for the first time.

And speaking of THAT, apparently, I can't even copy a VHS tape to a DVD either.  I THOUGHT I could, but the DVD copies played fine once and then not afterwards.  I feel like electronics are causing me to lose my mind, and quite frankly, at 64, I'm too young to be losing my mind. 

I can surrender to the VHS tape-copying fiasco and just buy DVDs of them.  Not to say this wrong, but buying a dozen of those is a nominal expense for me.  It's the inability to do these things that is driving me nuts!

I can't stand not being able to DO mildly complicated things!  It's a sign of old age encroaching on my life, and I am fighting that tooth, claw and neuron.  It's not in me to just give up.

I'm going to separate all my TV and stereo equipment and reconnect it from scratch (and eliminate that rat's nest of loose wires.  I'm going to take the DVD recorder and VHS tape player and set them up apart from all other equipment. to try to get clean replayable DVD copies that play repeatedly.  I'm going to return to Windows computers for the simplicity. 

And I'm going to investigate Adult Education computer classes available locally.  I may have gotten "computer-stupid", but I'm not going down easily! 

And, yes, I'm pissed.  At myself...



Katie Isabella said...

Mark, it's not the MAC but those words are cheap and probably made you more mad. I wish I was able to get you the advice I have in two sons. One is a windows user and that would be the teacher, and the other is a computer engineer who uses PC's at work but personally owns all MAC. I do know that my teacher son put two videos on the Admiral's blog very easily. And he is a PC user. It was dead easy. OH crap. I just re-read and you said download, not upload. Sorry. I will leave this comment as a testament to my inattention.

Mariodacat said...

Oh dear, I can so relate to what you are saying. But Mark, I don't think it's you - various companies connected with computing can never leave well enough alone. Of course they don't make things easier when they change things. They make them complicated. Hang in there. I had trouble putting a couple of videos in My blog a couple of months ago too. It took several tries. It never used to be like that.

Katnip Lounge said...

Do what we do--hire a tech smart young kid come to the house and help you get stuff going! Every few months we have a nice guy from a computer fix-it service in and pay for an hour of learning and fixing our screw-ups. $70 WELL spent!

Katie Isabella said...

GREAT advice Trish!

Megan said...

Mark - I share some of your pain and concern. I'm a late-ish adopter of technology and hate feeling incompetent about using it. However, I have learned that (i) I'm actually more competent than many others - but for some reason, the lack of competency is not talked about often! (ii) software companies produce third-rate quality products and then refine them as they go - meaning that they're never quite right. There are still major problems with Microsoft Word, for example, and how many years has that been around? So ... it's not necessarily your lack of skill that is preventing you from resolving some problems (iii) I suspect that your current situation is not a sign of impending old age. It may just be that being out of the paid workforce and living by yourself means that you're not often exposed to IT techies who - perhaps just with a passing comment or in casual conversation - say something that puts you on the right track in addressing a problem with your technology.

I'll be interested to learn of your experience with community college - but I suspect that you may find that you're way ahead of the class already.

Sydney, Australia

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

I understand all to well. It seems just as I figured out how to use my smartphone (really they had to go and make a phone smarter then me) or things on the computer. They upgrade and I have to learn everything all over again.

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

I have to add I have an advantage eldest son and hubby work with computers so they are always up to date, and youngest son isn't a slouch when it comes to computer stuff so I badger one of them into showing me how to do stuff. Actually youngest son if he knows how to do it, is the best one to ask as he doesn't get to annoyed with me.

Fuzzy Tales said...

I don't think it's you, either, frankly.

Now, I'm not a tech person and never will be, but honestly, the more that we're bombarded (endlessly) with the latest and greatest in technology, the less I want to use any of it. Heck, I don't even have a smart phone, can barely even use the old cheapie cell I got from Walmart several years ago, for travel.

And honestly, I don't care.

I like Trish's advice: Hire a young tech person to take care of things, and put your energies elsewhere. Because truly it is NOT you.